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Spherical Display Lets You See 3-D Animations from Any Angle

By IEEE Spectrum

August 29, 2014

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Researchers at the University of Sao Paulo and the University of British Columbia have developed Spheree, a spherical display that enables users to see and interact with three-dimensional (3-D) objects. The researchers say Spheree is the first display capable of projecting uniform, high-resolution pixels on a spherical surface. The display also enables users to interact with 3-D objects using gestures.

The system requires eight pocket-size projectors mounted at the base of the globe, as well as software that can blend the individual projector views to create a uniform pixel presentation. The researchers used FastFusion, an auto-calibration algorithm, to combine the resolution and brightness of the many projected images without a decrease in quality. A webcam enables the algorithm to see the position of the individual projector images on the globe and compute each image's contribution to the overall final image. Spheree also uses six infrared cameras to track the movement of special headbands worn by viewers, the data from which feeds into a computer, constantly providing perspective-corrected virtual scenes based on the viewer's position with respect to the globe. Gesture-control software enables users to interact with the 3-D scenes or animations by using gestures to start, move forward and backward, pause, and stop animations.

Spheree was showcased at the recent ACM SIGGRAPH 2014 conference in Vancouver.

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